Waterkampioen watersport magazine

Rebuild your ship and your policy.

There is nothing nicer than refurbishing your sailing pride and joy and increasingly embellishing it with all kinds of facilities and details. Mr. and Mrs. Nielsen have experienced that sometimes other details are lost from sight.

Ten years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Nielsen bought a second-hand steel cabin sailboat of about 15 meters, type Flevoklipper, with which they hoped to roam Europe’s inland waterways after Mr. Nielsen’s retirement. The ship was not expensive, but there was a need for considerable investment to optimize sailing pleasure. Over the years, for example, the interior paneling was completely replaced at a cost of about 35,000 euros and a new Iveco engine was installed with Python Drive at a cost of about 20,000 euros. At a cost of about 5,000 euros, all the benches in the ship were reupholstered and the curtains replaced. With all the modifications to the ship, the investment amounted to about a ton in a few years. And then the unthinkable happened: while the doors in the front were being varnished, a fire started in the stern. Despite help from everyone in the harbor, it was not possible to prevent the ship from burning out completely.

Nielsen submitted his claim to his insurer. His ship was insured for an amount of 104,000 euros, plus 16,000 euros for the propulsion system. The contents were insured for an amount equivalent to twenty percent of the insured value of the ship, approximately 21,000 euros. The expert came by and declared the ship total-loss, after which the insurer paid out 120,000 euros for the ship and an amount of 3,000 euros for the contents. This was very disappointing for Nielsen because he had spent a lot of money on the ship and its contents. With regard to the latter the insurer took the position that household effects mean: all household goods that are present in the vessel and are your property. A further explanation stated that it must be the loose items that are in the vessel. This meant that Nielsen, for example, saw nothing of the 5,000 euros he had put into the upholstery of the sofas. Because these were fixed couches, they did not fall under the contents. The insurer was unrelenting and Nielsen was left with a considerable loss.

Mr. Nielsen suffered the greatest loss, however, because he had never adjusted the insured value in the policy. He might have been able to get back some of his investment because his work had increased the value of the ship, but there too he got nothing. The value of the ship might have increased to 160,000 euros over the years, but he was only paid the insured amount of 120,000 euros. The insurer’s position was perfectly in line with the policy terms; Nielsen’s investments had literally “gone up in smoke.

TIP: You will undoubtedly also make investments in your yacht, not only because of regular maintenance, but also for example because an engine needs to be replaced or because you want to modernise the interior. If these investments lead to an increase in the value of the yacht, make sure that this is recorded and, if necessary, have the yacht revalued. This can be done periodically or after a major modification, such as that new engine. In most cases such a revaluation is free of charge. Another possibility is that you send in the invoices, after which the insurer adjusts the insured value. The small increase in premium does not outweigh the huge ļ¬nancial hangover when circumstances cause the vessel to be lost! Finally, make sure you have a proper inventory list, so you can easily show the insurer what the contents were in case of damage.

More information or download old articles: https://www.anwb.nl/kampioen/algemeen/digitaal-archief

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